A motion was filed today in Muscogee Superior Court seeking and injunction to force Expedia Inc. to start relisting Columbus hotels on its Internet Web site and quit claiming hotels are located in Columbus when they are actually in Phenix City. “We hope they will do the right thing,” said attorney Trip Tomlinson, of Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison and Norwood in Columbus, representing the city of Columbus.
The city of Columbus won a decision in June from the Georgia Supreme Court which agreed the city is owed lodging taxes on the amount a customer pays for a room instead of the cheaper room rate paid on the Web site. A similar ruling from the state’s high court was issued Monday for the city in its lawsuit against Hotels.com.
Columbus hotels were delisted from Expedia Inc. Web site and other Internet travel sites after the city filed suit in 2006. Customers seeking a hotel in Columbus from Expedia Inc. are directed to hotels in Phenix City but states the businesses are located in Columbus.
“This misrepresentation is part of Expedia’s malicious effort to punish Columbus for enforcing its tax laws, even after the Supreme Court of Georgia has affirmed this court’s decision that hotel occupancy taxes must be collected from consumers and remitted to Columbus based on the retail room rate Expedia charges its customers,” the motion states.